This is one of the best interviews of Jean-François Leroy. It was directed by Lucas Menget and Olivier Laurent in 2013.
Now that it’s 25 years old, will Visa pour l’Image finally become an adult?
J-F Leroy : I’m not sure what you mean by “adult,” but what I find interesting after 25 years is that we have kept the freshness and enthusiasm as in our early years, a combination of spontaneity and professionalism.
You have said that you never wanted to become an institution, but you have also done everything you can to make it on. Luckily, Visa pour l’Image has become an institution in the world of press photography.
J-F. L : I don’t think so.
It’s an institution in the sense that it’s a crossroads, a meeting place, and whatever you do, it is now, more than ever, at 25, an institution. Otherwise people wouldn’t come.
J-F. L :In 1989, we told ourselves that we’d never make it to five years. After five years, we told ourselves we’d stop at seven years, then ten years. Today it’s difficult to overlook Visa if you’re in the press. In 1989 we joked: “We’re going to become the Cannes of photojournalism because there’s a market for photojournalism.”
Much has changed since the digital revolution, now that we’re overwhelmed by photographs in general, and in the media in particular. Today we can no longer turn a blind eye to the truth: the only places that can cover “hot news” are AP, AFP and Reuters.
Read the full interview on the French version of Le Journal.